Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Review: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 288
Received: ARC from publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Page











Summary

From Goodreads:

Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions.

But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it's up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle's never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom.


Review

Six reasons I loved Tuesdays at the Castle

1.Family

I thought Tuesdays at the Castle was going to be all about Celie, and while Celie is the main focus (the third person narration has a focus on her), her older brother and sister are just as important.

I loved this! The interaction between the siblings was sweet and fun. I actually loved Celie's brother and sister so much that I would read the story all over again told from each of their perspectives.

2. Pogue 

This is a MG book, so the romance is really, really minimal (like, only implied), but Pogue is where it's at and his devil-may-care, charming and flirty personality makes him a character to watch.

Maybe we could get a book told from Lilah's perspective so I can get more Pogue (Pogue has a little thing going on with Celie's older sister Lilah)? I could go for that!

3. A character who owns a pile of puppies 

Puppies! I'm firmly in the camp that believes puppies make everything better.

4. Celie

She gets a sleepover party invite! Celie is everything I want in a MC--she's inquisitive, determined, and she so gets the value of secret passageways.

And, yeah, maybe after watching the requisite scary movie at our sleepover party we'd both pull out our childhood stuffed animals that we told all our friends we got rid of ages ago but really we didn't. But that's ok because we both understand that sometimes nothing can offer comfort like that old stuffed animal friend.

Basically what I'm saying here is that Celie may be super awesome for standing up against some pretty rotten characters, but she's a real girl with courage AND fears and I could totally relate to her while also admiring her.

Plus, she's a princess, so there's automatic points for that.

5. Castle Glower

If I hadn't already been sold on reading Tuesdays at the Castle because this is a Jessica Day George book and I'll read anything she writes, that castle that magically adds new rooms and features would have cinched the deal.

Half the reason I read so many castle/mansion books is because I get to explore big houses! The idea of a castle that is constantly growing and changing and adding new cool secret passageways (can you tell I have a thing for secret passageways?) and magical objects is just so full of win that I think they need to invent a new level of awesome just for Castle Glower.

The fact that the castle is also effectively a character in its own right who loves the royal family just makes the whole thing explode with awesomeness even more. Do you remmeber Nana from Peter Pan? You know, the dog who watches over the children? Imagine if she was a castle and could create magical objects. Pretty neat, right?

6. Political intrigue

This is a MG book, but I think the political intrigue was still pretty entertaining. I really wished I could reach into the book and start slapping the bad guys. They cook up some nasty schemes, and I liked how new layers were peeled back, slowly exposing their duplicity.

Of course this is a MG book, so none of the bad guys got a (well deserved) actual skewering, but Jessica Day George gave me plenty of opportunities to laugh at their comeuppances.

And, while I knew everything would work out in the end (it's a Jessica Day George book--she never fails to give me the Happily Ever After I want), there were a bunch of times where I was so wrapped up in the characters' plights that I was practically plunged alongside them into the depths of despair wondering how in the world they were going to fix everything.

Stars off?

I'm kind of just a tensy little bit of an impatient reader (which is probably the biggest understatement of the year). So the slower beginning made me a little antsy. It wasn't like nothing was happening, but it felt like there was a lot of waiting around in the beginning.

Pogue also gets sent off on a quest-type mission and I'll admit that I pouted and may have even stomped my foot a little when I realized *I* wasn't tagging along.

Instead I was stuck in the castle (which, yeah, I know as far as consolation prizes go this one wasn't half bad. But, but, I missed out on a QUEST, with Pogue! It kinda felt like getting stuck at the kiddie table when all the grownups are discussing juicy secrets).

Bottom line

I am a fawning, pom-pom waving fangirl for Jessica Day George, and Tuesdays at the Castle just reminded me again why. Somehow she always manages to spin a cotton candy confection of fluffy happy goodness with a captivating plot, endearing characters, and seriously bad villains.

Lucky for me, Tuesdays at the Castle is just the beginning! There will be at least two more books about Celie and her magical castle (and her brother and sister? And Pogue? I hope!)

But, don't let that scare you off because Tuesdays at the Castle can totally be read as a standalone. In fact, if I hadn't read on Jessica Day George's blog that there would be sequels, I never would have thought there was more to come (but I am SO so looking forward to more!)


Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 


Do you have any questions about Tuesdays at the Castle that I haven't addressed? 
Feel free to ask in the comments!



Looking for another book like this? 
You might like: 

Click on the covers to go to my reviews/Goodreads.

20 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm so looking forward to this book, and your review made it seem even better. Thanks, Small!

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  2. Puppies do make everything better. Truth. Also, a magical castle achieves the same effect. Sounds super cute! I'll have to check out a Jessica Day George book sometime.

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  3. You had me at puppies.
    I'm of the firm thought that pets make everything better, in books and in life.
    :)

    Still the rest of your reasons don't sound too shabby, and this book has been winking at me for a while.

    Thanks for the review.

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  4. I've never read anything by George but this does sound great. I love books with strong family elements. And puppies definitely make everything better.

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  5. I actually had a really hard time getting into "Dragon Slippers". The plot bored me and the characters were a bit "meh" but I'm willing to take a chance on this book. I've already read other favorable reviews on it.

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  6. I'm a big lover of magical castles and political intrigue so I'll probably be putting this one on my wishlist. Since it's an MG book, I can also share it with my cousin :)

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  7. Awww, this one really sounds adorable. I love the name "Castle Glower" and Pogue sounds fabulous :D

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  8. This is the second glowing review I've read about this book :) And I have to say all six reasons are making me desperatly want to read it. I'm seriously doing this 'give me, give me' thing with my hands! Thanks for the review... I hope I get a chance to discover the castle!

    P.S. I would totally pout too if I got left out of a quest!! lol And stomp my foot :p

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  9. aww i love that it's about family :) and puppies yay!

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  10. This sounds super, super cute. :) Adding it to my list, thank you!

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  11. Me too! I love Jessica Day George! I just got a copy of this as well and can't wait to dive in. Great review!!

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  12. Pica, I really think you're going to like it! It's classic JDG :D

    Aylee, Yes it's totally Truth! I agree, the magical castle is just as good, especially Castle Glower.

    Alex, :D Puppies are the ultimate trump card. You can never go wrong with pets. I can see you liking Tuesdays at the Castle.

    Alison, Oh you should read her! She has a sweetness that sort of reminds me of Caitlin from Jen Calonita's books. Hmm, you might like to start with Princess of the Midnight Ball. It's YA instead of MG (but still sweet light YA) and even though some of the princesses run together a little (it's a 12 dancing princesses retelling), the family element is strong and really sweet.

    Rummanah, Aw, too bad! But I can understand that. I thought the plot of Dragon Slippers was a little more exciting than Tuesdays at the Castle, but hopefully it will click with you more.

    A Canadian Girl, Oh yes, I can see you liking this one! I'm curious to see what you think of the castle. :)

    Danya, It is totally adorable! Pogue has so much potential. I really hope he appears in the sequels.

    Lulu, Ooooh the give me, give me hand move! I am well acquainted with that one ;) I hope you enjoy it! (We can pout and foot stomp together!)

    Carrie, Yes! Puppies FTW! The family aspect was unexpected for me but totally sweet.

    Wendy, I hope you like it! It is super cute :)

    Jana, I'll be looking out for your review! I can't wait to see how many cookies you give it (your blog always makes me wish I had a fresh batch of cookies at hand)

    Lah, It's very cute and that castle is so awesome. I can see you liking it!

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  13. I just got this book for review. I've never read anything by this author but Tuesdays sounds very magical. Glad to hear there will be more books. Sounds like I'll definitely be hooked!

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  14. *prepares to duck* Don't maim me, Small, but I've never read anything by Jessica Day George. :O

    This review, though, makes me want to pick up Tuesdays at the Castle even though I don't really do MG books...

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

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  15. I saw this book on another blog the other day and inmediatley copied it to my tbrlist. It sounds so good and I love a great middle grade story. :)

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  16. Love the review!! I can't wait to read it! Moving Castles and secret passages! I love the idea!

    Heather

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  17. Ah, I don't know why I haven't read any books by Jessica Day George yet. This must be rectified!!!! I'm glad to hear that you liked this one loads. :) I've been wanting to read more MG lately so I may give this one a shot.

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  18. Oh my goodness, right?! This book was just so freaking adorable! I totally loved it! Seriously. So much the loving! :)

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  19. glad you liked this one! I'm pretty sure I'll like it for the same reasons as you, but be a little disappointed for the same reasons. Good review! I'll have to give it a try, but will probably wait a bit until the other ones come out.

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